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Monday, September 22, 2008

Fall Equinox

Today is a special day. It is the first day of fall. At 15:44 UTC the sun will be directly over the equator. This exact moment in time marks the fall equinox. Many people think the equinox lasts all day, but scientifically speaking it does not. It is a moment in time. The exact time at which if you were standing on the equator the sun would be exactly 90 degrees over head.

Today, you can expect to have an equal amount of day and night. For the most part. If the sun hovered directly over the equator then days would last 12 hours and nights would last 12 hours. In reality the sun is in constant relative motion in relation to Earth.

So for those of us living north of the equator, the day will be a few seconds longer than the night and for those south of the equator, the night will be a few seconds longer than the day. But it would be a safe bet to call it even. Equal periods of day and night.

From here on out, days will get shorter and shorter if you live north of the equator. South of the equator days will get longer and longer.

So depending on where you are, it is either fall or spring.

Now I like this time of the year. It makes me feel good. For one, it means hurricane season will be over soon. But it also means cooler weather is on the way. It means Ill be able to enjoy some crisp cool air when outdoors. It means the bugs will go away. It means there will be days when I do not have to use the vehicle AC, I can just roll down the windows. Maybe even turn on the heater.

I have found it works very well to keep all the windows down, open the split window in the rear of the truck, and then turn on the heater full blast - directed to the floor. It works well as long as you are moving. At red lights you may have to turn the heat down.

But mostly, it means crisp cool days. It means it is not so blasted hot that you do not want to move around. It means bike riding in the everglades without dying of blood loss / heat stroke.

My time of year. For sure.

So the days will get shorter and shorter. Nights will get longer and longer.

And on December 21, winter solstice, the sun will be directly over the Tropic Of Capricorn. Solstices mark the shortest and longest days of the year (summer solstice is the longest day, winter solstice is the shortest).

I have some special beer in the fridge, waiting for the first good cold front to pass. When I can sit outside and it feels like the whole world is air conditioned, then Ill be able to enjoy this beer. It is a dark and heavy beer, with a high alcohol content. Not at all what you want on a hot summer day. But PERFECT for a crisp cool fall / winter day.

I am really looking forward to this.



Blogger Lily Strange said...

Honestly, if you hadn't said something, I wouldn't have been aware that it was the first day of fall. So now you have done your good deed for the day!

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Apparently you and I are the only ones who give a shit.

Blogger Dusty said...

I love fall/autumn the best as well for the same reasons: cool, crisp air and no more fucking bugs!


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